By Ron Giofu
A group of local students, including Stella Maris’ Mackenzie Parks, came home from Waterloo with some hardware thanks to their robot building expertise.
Parks, a Grade 8 student at Stella Maris, was part of the Centreline Supersonics team that won the mechanical design award at the 2015-16 Ontario West FIRST Lego League championship tournament in Waterloo. At that same competition, the Supersonics took fourth in the robot playoffs.
Pointing out the “Trash Trek” theme, Parks said there were a number of recycling based “missions” their robot had to undertake. Whether it be sorting, collecting or disposing of waste, the robot the team constructed earned points for how successful it was doing the drills.
The team also made a video entitled “Bug Farts can save the World,” which is can be viewed on YouTube. They teamed with Progressive Waste Solutions on the video.
“We feel really good about what we did,” said Parks.
Because they didn’t advance to the world competition, the Centreline Supersonics’ season is over but they were happy with how they did. While some Supersonics team members will still compete in the FIRST Lego League next season, others such as Parks move into the FIRST Robotics competition. Parks will be attending General Amherst High School next year and hopes to be part of a newly-launched robotics team at the school.
Centreline, where Parks’ father works, sponsors two teams, he noted. Other members of the Supersonics team come from around Essex County and include Ava Argoselo, Brendan Argoselo, Kurtis Paquette, Jenna Reaume, Luke Reaume, Craig Leopold and Ian Mitchell.